Shiny new MacBooks useless for video

For the last few weeks I have been eagerly waiting for yesterday’s announcement of updated MacBooks, ready to lay down some cash but unwilling to buy an old model. Now I’m stuck. The new MacBook range do not have a Firewire port, and cannot be connected to a regular camcorder. Apple don’t even offer any kind of adapter cable.

For many people, including me, this makes the new MacBooks essentially useless for video. To get a Firewire port you need to buy a MacBook Pro, which is bigger, heavier, and about twice the price of a MacBook. The glossy marketing bumf still rambles on about how all Macs come with video editing software, but without a port to connect an actual camera it’s all largely pointless.

I find it very hard to understand how Apple can casually brush-off videomakers, traditionally a significant part of their core user-base, especially now that so many PC laptops come with built-in firewire. And that’s without even considering the huge range of add-on firewire devices for other purposes. Even a simple firewire external drive (one of the most useful additions to a portable computer with a relatively small internal drive) can not be used with the new MacBook range.


One Comment

  1. Yep – they’ve dropped the ball there. It would nearly be excusable if the new MacBook had an ExpressCard slot, but it doesn’t. I’ve seen that there are some Firewire 800 to Gigabit Ethernet Converters available, but I haven’t a clue how well supported these are under OS X.

    Of course, they did reduce the price of the previous MacBook range, which are still good machines and the savings on the price could be used to upgrade the hardware. Don’t buy memory upgrades from Apple though, they are very expensive.

    It might be worth me mentioning that the MacBook Pro I have now and the PowerBook G4 I had before that are the two best built and (for their time) best performing laptops I’ve ever used, but they’re certainly not cheap.

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